Time-lapse photography is a very visual way of illustrating change over long periods of time in a matter of minutes. Still photos taken at predetermined intervals create the illusion of something happening more rapidly than it actually is. Time-lapse can be used to show the change in a neighborhood or the evolution of a work of art. The technique, however, is rarely used in journalism because of the time commitment. But if you’ve got a spare camera, the internet is making it easier to learn how to become a time-lapse master.
EzineArticles has a tutorial on how to create a time-lapse video with a digital camera and Kinsman Physics Productions has a complete rundown of how the technology works. If you already have a set of photographs that you’d like to convert into a time-lapse video, try JPGVideo, which can also be used to string together any series of photos.
Here are a few more examples of how time-lapse photography can be applied to journalism:
The following video shows the construction of a single building over the course of a year
This video uses time lapse photography to document the change made to the Virginia Tech massacre Wikipedia article in the first 12 hours after the event.